When we first started the chair project, I urged Amanda that we needed to get a few proper tools. Of course, she’s a very frugal person and only saw the dollar signs, and immediately gave me a big no. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it is essential to have someone who can set a budget and actually stick to it during a project. But, I wanted to make the job easy, not necessarily cheap.
So, I insisted that if I was going to sand the chair for us to paint it, I required a sander. I had been doing research for months on all the tools that I wanted to get, so I already had a pretty good idea of what I want. Of course, I plan to do a lot of construction-type projects in the future, so I want to get good tools now…which naturally equals more money. Just my luck.
The sander I really wanted was the DeWalt random orbital sander. Amanda had no idea why I insisted on that one over the (cheaper) plain sander, so I had to explain that the random orbital part was crucial so you couldn’t see the sanding pattern. The movement of the pad on the sander makes a more random pattern that is not easily seen when looking at the piece, whereas the sanders that aren’t random tend to leave a circular pattern if you aren’t careful.
Amanda originally debunked my need for a sander by volunteering to sand the chair herself and save the money. I tried to tell her that the amount of oil, varnish and stain that has built up on this chair over time would take hours to get though doing it the manual way, but she insisted and I gave in.
It was only when we decided to also take on another project that had 3 times the amount of sanding as the chair (we’ll talk about that one this week!) that she let me get the sander.
Boy, was I happy. My first real power tool!
Another reason I was so excited is because I know that we made a good purchase. I have what has got to be one of the worse cases ever of buyers remorse. If you ask Amanda, she’d tell you it’s one of her least favorite things about me. I can research for weeks, even months, and when we finally make the purchase, even if I know it is the best one to buy, I always feel regret when I get home. I still think about my TV I bought 4 years ago wishing I would have spent just a couple extra bucks for a step up, even though I love the television. I just can’t help it.
But, I’m so glad I got the sander, and I can’t even imagine what this job or the next would have been like if Amanda or I did all the sanding by hand. I can tell you one thing – you guys wouldn’t have seen the finished chair yet. There is no way I could have sanded it all in a day. But, thanks to the sander, I was able to knock the chair out in about an hour and the next project I did over two days.
If you’re thinking about taking on a reupholstering project yourself, I will say that the only other tool that I wish we had for this job was an air-powered stapler. With this being the only job on the horizon that requires the use of 800 staples, the idea of spending $300+ to get one for this project was a little silly, but if we ever take on a similar project, I plan to save the money and get one. Driving the staples in with our staple gun and then having to hammer each one in was the hardest part of the job (and is what led to most of that cursing Amanda mentioned a few posts ago). The amount of force it takes to drive a staple in is tough – especially when you take into the account the angles at which you have to staple.
Oh and a little PSA: always wear protection! Especially when sanding. Several types of finishes are toxic and once you start sanding the only way to prevent inhalation is to wear a respirator.
So, tell me: who are you in the relationship? Do you like to spend the big bucks to get the job done or would you prefer to grit your teeth and get through it with what you have?